Monday night in Los Angeles, Seattle Mariners wunderkind Julio Rodríguez will try to become only the third player to win the Home Run Derby as a rookie. Rodríguez announced Wednesday he will indeed participate in the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium.
Here is Rodríguez’s announcement:
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (2017) and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (2019) are the only rookies to win the Home Run Derby outright. Angels rookie Wally Joyner was the co-Home Run Derby champ in 1986. Rodríguez will look to become the third rookie to win it outright next week.
The 21-year-old Rodríguez entered this season as one of the game’s best prospects, and he has more than lived up to the hype. He owns a .274/.334/.477 batting line with 15 home runs and 21 stolen bases, and that’s after a sluggish April. Rodríguez reached 20 homers and 20 stolen bases faster than any player in history.
Rodríguez is the sixth player confirmed for the Home Run Derby, joining Alonso, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber and Cardinals legend Albert Pujols. Yankees masher Giancarlo Stanton has strongly hinted he will do it as well, which would leave one spot open.
The 2022 Home Run Derby will take place Monday, June 18, at Dodger Stadium. Alonso is looking to become the first player to win three straight Home Run Derbies and only the second player to win a total of three, joining Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1994, 1998, 1999).
Rodríguez will be the first Mariners player to take his hacks in the Home Run Derby since Bret Boone in 2003. Griffey is the only Mariner to win it.